Safety Rules Enacted After Gulf Oil Spill Ending

Tuesday, January 2, 2018 @ 12:01 PM gHale

Safety and environmental regulations put in place after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 people and dumped millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for weeks are coming to an end.

The catastrophic environmental event killed nearly 1 million birds along the Gulf Coast and led to BP paying $18.7 billion in civil penalties and damages.

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The regulatory changes enacted by the Trump administration will save extraction companies $288 million over 10 years, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

The 2016 rules implemented by the Obama administration focused on trying to ensure the safety of drilling equipment, several pieces of which failed during the Deepwater Horizon spill. It also shut off certain portions of the American coastline from drilling.

The Obama-era rules, written in 2016, tightened controls on blowout preventers, devices that are intended to stop explosions in undersea oil and gas wells, and called for rig operators to have third parties certify the safety devices worked under extreme conditions. In the Deepwater Horizon spill, a supposedly fail-safe blowout preventer failed after a section of drill pipe buckled.

President Trump showed his intent to undo drilling restrictions and safety regulations for offshore drilling in an executive order this April. The Department of Interior published the proposed rule changes Friday.

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